Sunday, July 7, 2013

Lemon Grass Fights Against Cancer Cells

Lemon Grass (scientific name: Cymbopogon citrates) in the Philippines it is called Tanglad, also called oil grass, fever grass or citronella grass. It is a tropical fragrant grass, with an aromatic citrus flavor and a tinge of ginger, works well as medicine is some parts of the world.

South Americans they use lemon grass as an antispasmodic (relief or prevention of spasms), analgesic (reduction or elimination of pain), antipyretic (treatment of fevers), and antiemetic (prevention of vomiting).

Indians they use lemon grass as antifussive (relief or suppression of cough), antirheumatic and antiseptic.

Chinese take lemon grass to treat headaches, stomachaches and abdominal and rheumatic pain.

The lemon grass treatment is usually prepared through an infusion made by pouring boiling water on fresh or dried leaves.

Based from research lemon grass has 65-85 percent citral (a mobile pale-yellow liquid, derived from lemon grass oil, used in flavoring and perfume) that contains active ingredients like myrcene (an antibacterial and pain reliever) citronella (a pale yellow to brownish aromatic oil) citronellol (a colorless liquid, with a roselike odor) and geroniol ( a fragrant, pale yellow liquid alcohol). The citral in lemon grass was proven in Israel to kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells healthy. The  success of their research led them to conclude that herbs containing citral may be consumed as a preventative measure against certain cancerous cells.

How do citral works? The study found out that citral causes cells to "commit suicide using apoptosis, a mechanism called programmed cell death". A drink with a little as one gram of lemon grass contains enough citral to prompt the cancer cells to commit suicide.

How do cancer cells formed? In each cell in our body is a genetic program which causes programmed cell death. When something goes wrong, the cells divide with no control and become cancer cells. In normal cell when the cell discovers that the control system not operating correctly, like when it recognizes that a cell contain faulty genetic material following cell division, it triggers cell death.

A recent study by the Philippines Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and technology (DOST) claimed that every 100g of edible lemon grass, when boiled, can contain up to 24.205 micrograms of beta-carotene, the anti-oxidant that scientists believe can help prevent cancer. Another DOST study showed that lemon grass oil has the potential as a tropical eye medication against keratomycosis, an inflammation of cornea often associated with burning or blurring of vision.

Lemon grass is not only a herbal medicines but also can be use in cooking and drinking. Nothing to lose, everything to gain.

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